Princess Leonor is the eldest daughter of Queen Letizia and King Felipe VI of Spain. The 15-year-old began studying for her International Baccalareate at UWC Atlantic College in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales, earlier this month.
UWC Atlantic College is a school that specializes in extra-curricular activities, from Tai Chi to rock climbing, as well as offering its students the opportunity to meet young people from all over the world.
Situated in a 12th century medieval castle with fees typically costing over £30,000 a year, many aristocratic and royal families have sent their children to the school over the years.
Princess Elizabeth is a recent graduate and alumni include Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Crown Princess Raiyah of Jordan.
This year, Princess Leonor is joined by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands’ middle daughter, Princess Alexia, at the school.
Parenting expert at Kiddies Kingdom, Jumaimah Hussain, explained why sending their daughter to boarding school was a “natural choice” for Letizia and Felipe.
She said: “Boarding schools have a history of providing excellent teaching and offering an all-round approach to learning, which will be desirable for royal parents wanting their children to experience some of the best education available.
“Sending their children to boarding school also allows them to keep out of the public eye, giving royal children more privacy from press and paparazzi.”
Jumaimah added that the UWC Atlantic College is “a prestige college, which has a reputation for educating international royals, so it is a natural choice for Leonor to attend this college to study for her International Baccalaureate”.
The parenting expert continued: “The college offers lots of extra-curricular activities, including allowing students to take part in activities and projects within the community which will be rewarding to be involved in.”
Jumaimah compared Letizia and Felipe’s parenting techniques with the British royals – looking in particular at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s parenting style.
She said: “William and Kate have a modern style of parenting, and they are often praised for their relaxed and regular parenting style.
“It’s long been thought that Kate and William would want to give their children as normal a life as possible, so sending them to boarding school doesn’t seem like an option they would consider currently.”
Jumaimah claimed that Kate and William’s day-to-day parenting techniques suggest the couple are not the type to send their children too far away from home for school.
She said: “The royal parents also spend quality time with their children, bonding with them in many ways, including simple family moments such as playing outside, which also wouldn’t be possible if they were to go away to school.
“Perhaps it may be an option once the children are older.”
Prince George, eight, and Princess Charlotte, six, have attended Thomas’ Battersea Prep School since George turned four in 2017.
This is not too far from the Cambridges’ home in Kensington, which suggests William and Kate have broken royal tradition, according to Jumaimah.
The parenting expert said: “It is royal tradition for children to attend boarding school at age eight, with Prince William and Prince Harry both doing so, as well as Prince Charles when he was younger.
“Prince William and Kate Middleton have been known to break tradition, and with Prince George turning eight years old recently, it looks as if they will break tradition once again by not sending him to boarding school.
“It has been said that William and Kate have open communication with their children, so George would only go to boarding school if he wanted to and it would be a family decision between them all, which differs to the generations before.”
Both William and Harry were sent to Ludgrove School near Wokingham in Berkshire – an independent preparatory boarding school for 200 boys, aged eight to 13.